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A 'Nidan' for empowerment!
“We didin’t mind trying out any medium of fundraising. Nidan means medium and we tried to live upto it”, says Shubhendra Sachan, lovingly called Shubh.
Shubhendra is one of the most inspiring individuals India Cares Foundation has come across in the recent chapter of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. He is the Resource Mobilisation officer at NIDAN, an organization that works towards community owned sustainable programs in the livelihood, microfinance, health and education sector.
Shubhendra and his team of young fundraisers participated in ADHM for the first time in 2015. These students were interns at Nidan and were very new to the concept of fundraising! ADHM 2015 in many ways was special to them. They left no stone unturned in reaching out to the potential donors for their program. “We asked everyone we knew and went to talk to every corporate we could go to. Many a times they said no to us on face, they wouldn’t even ask us to sit down, a few didn’t even ask for water! It was very de-motivating for my interns but, nonetheless, among those people we found some who did understand our cause and supported us,” recalls Shubh.
From keeping donation boxes in shopping malls, to doing promotional activities, to reaching out in apartment complex and houses to creating a partnership with corporates, they tried it all! The result very well reflected when their team won the Shakti Fund bonus under Youth Care category of fundraisers. (Shakti Fund - an India Cares initiative, is an ‘encouragement contribution’ given to organisation based on set criterias to help CSOs improve their communication and reach to donors)
Reaching out to the individuals or corporate wasn’t an easy task. Every time my team and I would go and approach one, it was hard for us to explain the idea behind NIDAN and the cause we are associated with. They created a whatsapp group to report to each other and made sure to reach out to atleast 100 people in a day to ensure regular funds flow. Via social media they were able to reach to a good number of people online. However, initially they didn’t push and pitch for cash donations. Instead they pitched the idea behind the formation of NIDAN and the communities it is associated with. As Shubh recalls, his team used to give a call to the donors to ensure that they are willing to contribute to the cause whole heartedly and is aware of implementation part of it. Post contributions, the team sent out thank you notes to appreciate the donors.
Having a spill of success for first timer at ADHM, Shubh feels that in reaching the goals of ADHM 2015, India Cares had a huge role to play. “They clarified each and every query and were available to resolve the problems at any given time of the day. Nidan being a new organization as participant was treated no different than any other experienced CSO. It was given a comfortable space to reach out to the team without much hesitation. The platform of ADHM proved very trustworthy and crucial in brand building for the organization,” admits Shubh.
As per the Census 2011, 41% of India’s population is below the age of 20. Youth, thus, play a huge role in the development of our nation. Having worked with the college students closely during ADHM, Shubhendra plans to focus on the involvement of youngsters in the upcoming editions of the event.
ADHM 2015 was about brainstorming on various tactics and strategies of fundraising and now that Nidan has a good network of potential donors, they plan to start working towards ADHM from May-June onwards.
“Your performance depends upon your people. Select the best, train them and back them. When errors persist or if the fit feels wrong, help them move on. The country can not afford amateur hour in the White House” - Donald Rumsfeld
As spoken to,
India Cares Foundation